Posted by on June 8, 2009


Big Wheel Fun

Big Wheel Fun


This might seam odd, but I think that this bike info is good to share. I have been riding and racing mtb since 1992 and up to last fall I have been on 26″ Wheels (normal mtb wheels). During this time many innovations have come  to the bike world, some big losers ,and some great innovations. Among the losers were the hight rite (on-the-fly seat hight adjustor), the Soft Ride suspension stem, Scott AT3 handle bar, Specialized Uma Guma and Maxxis Larson-Minatour tires, Ringle Moby seat post (they all broke), Sachs Malliard free wheel, isis bottom brackets, Bio Pace chain rings, Specialized Ground control full suspension design, and the list goes on. Among the innovations that I would say  are land marks in cycling innovations are, clipless peddles, front suspension, and the 29″ wheel. Clipless pedals allow you to control the bike and utilize all of your energy, not having them is like throwing away half of your power. Front suspension is essential for off road cycling, it reduces fatigue, increases speed and control. Lastly the 29″ wheel. I first thought that it looked cool, but I was not motivated to spend the cash. Critics of the 29″ wheel, would argue an increase in weight due to the longer fork, larger frame and greater wheel mass. Critics, also say that the 29″ wheels are slower to accelerate, handle slower and is not good for New England technical riding. I had my doubts as well, and then rode one last fall. I did it side by side with my 23lb full suspension Cannondale Scalpel, a bike that i considered the finest production XC race bike available. I rode the same trails on my usual weekly rides, Logging in 12hrs of riding on the 29″ wheeled KONA, King Kahuna hard tail. Some of the stuff we ride in Northfield so steep and technical that a fellow Bicycle Express Team mate, and Pro, Matt Katz states” it’s not normal and not of this world”. DH guys like it. I consider my self a climber, good in the tech and a moderate survivalist  down hiller. I was ready to not like the 29″ wheeled bike, particularly a hard tail, due to a herniated L4. I was so wrong, and soon sold off my 26″ wheeled Scalpel. I am  not kidding, those who argue that a 29er does not out perform a 26er are in either lying or just sour grapes. It climbs like a goat due to improved traction, descends with incredible stability, and rolls super smooth in the technical. I though I could never ride a hard tail again, my back actually feel better than in years past. Two weeks ago on my 29er, I won what most consider the most technical race course in Vermont, the Coyote Hill Classic, by 3 minutes. It just flowed over, up and down the terrain. Last week, my  29er was in the shop to upgrade the front wheel and suspension to a 20mm axle (another post to come)  and road my 26″ Independent Fabrication (IF) Delux for a week. Oh my god, it was like riding a shopping cart!  The IF is considered to the tops in steal hard tail bikes, and I  love it,  but it does not even come close to the ride of a 29er. I know, I sound evangelical, but after you ride a 29er you will wonder why it took so long to try one. Don’t just do a parking lot spin, but ride it for real, a couple of hours off road on a trail you know well I ride a KONA from Bicycle Express, but there are many 29″ offerings, pick one that suites your taste and style. If you want a super plush ride try a Dual suspension 29er, the local guys in MAMBA love them for general trail riding. 


Posted in: General News